Office 365 Adoption: are you seeing the results?
According to Forrester, the analyst, who performed a Total Economic Impact report of Enterprise productivity platforms, successful Office 365 adoption can give you an ROI of 162% within three years. When an organisation uses Office 365 to it’s full potential, there can be significant benefits. Significant sums of money can be saved with the added benefit of increased employee productivity.
However, the realities of any Enterprise IT deployment can be often somewhat disappointing. When looking at Office 365 a 2016 study by Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security consultancy, found that usage of many Office 365 apps is significantly lower than what would be required to achieve the levels of ROI that Forrester found. For example, in companies with over 100 employees, only 18.6% of staff regularly use OneDrive for Business, 10.1% use Skype for Business, and just 1.2% actively use Yammer.
As with many enterprise technologies, there seems to be a gulf between what is possible, and what actually happens. To illustrate this problem, picture the ‘ideal’ scenario for an Office 365 deployment.
Once your organisation has migrated to the cloud, your employees immediately become more productive, efficient and collaborative, with staff engagement rates rocketing.
Successful Office 365 adoption has been completed. Office 365 suddenly makes it possible for employees to join the dots between work and people. Enterprise Social Networking platform, Yammer gives everyone a personal profile, letting staff interact fluidly. Delve becomes everyone’s ‘go-to’ in the morning, surfacing interesting and relevant content from across the business. SharePoint Online and Office 365 Video provide powerful tools to communicate high-value company news across a variety of media channels.
Within a few weeks, staff are spontaneously trying out new tools in Office 365, setting up their own projects and channels in Teams, for instance, or using Office 365 Groups for wider collaboration. While different departments might use different tools within the Office 365 Suite, silos are avoided because all the data is still held securely in one place.
What’s more, Office 365’s mobile-friendly features allow staff to connect from wherever they are, speeding up workflows and letting people work more flexibly and productively.
This vision of Office 365 is indeed possible. Unfortunately, for most organisations, their investment in the platform just doesn’t work out like that. Ultimately, in the majority of cases ensuring Office 365 adoption is not at the forefront of many projects.
The majority of staff only log in to Office 365 to do three things which they used to do in your on-premises platform: check their emails in Outlook, review their calendar and upload documents to SharePoint. One or two employees might get around to installing Office 365 on their smartphones, and some will make use of its support for working from home.
However, the vast majority of tools in the Office 365 App Launcher are under-used – and that’s if they’re used at all. The problem here is that there has not been an emphasis placed on ensuring Office 365 adoption.
Is this a problem?
There has always been a lag between first adopters of new technology and the majority of enterprise users. While some of the figures highlighted above may be dispiriting, it often simply takes time for staff to begin using the full Office 365 suite.
However, Office 365 is deployed as a subscription service. Organisations pay a monthly fee to use Microsoft’s technology, and so it can be frustrating (not to mention expensive) if staff simply don’t use a large portion of what you’re paying for.
What’s more, if staff are not using Office 365 to the full, you miss out on those promised benefits. Some organisations really do see a significant increase in productivity, and other major benefits, when they migrate to the cloud. This is because they have placed an emphasis on change management. Ultimately, when adopting Office 365 successfully embedding change should be at the forefront of any project.
So, why don’t employees use Office 365 to its full potential?
Employees lack the desire to change
Employees who don’t understand new technology, or ‘get’ why it is being imposed, have a tendency to reject it. Many staff have been using the same tools for years and have their own habits. Introducing a new platform can upset their long-established routines. Creating desire through effective Office 365 training can help alleviate these problems.
Organisations fail to inspire users to change
The way technology is deployed often leaves a lot to be desired. Overly-complex and detailed plans result in confusion, information about the new tool isn’t disseminated properly, or technology is simply ‘dumped’ on staff without further explanation.
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